ABOUT STEVE HASHI
Ocean Inspired Art by Steve Hashi & Jan Ekleberry
Aloha! Thank you for taking the time to view our creations, and for your interest in us and our experiences in this paradise called Kauai!
My name is Steve Hashi. Having lived on Kauai for the past 25 years, I am intimately familiar with the island energies that have propelled me toward this point of artistic expression. These elements are reflected in my work, and are at the very heart of why I create as I do. Oh, and speaking of intimate energies, the work that you are viewing consists of a collaborative effort between me and Jan Ekleberry, who is also my beautiful, and artistically-gifted girlfriend.
Along with others here, I am thankful for having found Kauai, and for having the privilege of seeing its heartbeat, culture, and way of life become such a significant part of my life. With that, I am amazed at how it enriches and uplifts the mind, body and spirit. One is constantly being “fed” by its natural beauty, incredible surf and the beautiful “Aloha” spirit found in many that live and visit here.
It is also the wonderful inspiration behind the art that Jan and I create. Growing up in Santa Monica, California, I developed an early bond with the ocean. I became an avid surfer and fisherman, and as such, found myself drawn to Kauai, moving here in 1990. Strangely enough, my primary occupation on Kauai, has been as a general contractor. General contracting is in many ways, at the other end of the spectrum, artfully-speaking. But contracting gave me the opportunity to raise my three children here in this paradise, as a single dad. This experience has been a precious one to me in that it has given me the chance to watch my kids discover the same love and appreciation of Kauai, for themselves. Seeing them experience the island in their own unique ways, is a dream for me as a father.
Returning to my construction experiences, I will tell you that I have done more than my share of tile-setting. The art of it and the skills required to work with tile, have influenced my art, augmenting the way in which I express it. Some might say it is a mediator that aids in getting what is inside, outside.
So yes, surfer-fisherman, tile-setter, and a beautiful artist girlfriend. I live a very rich and wonderful life, don't you think?
These personal elements have combined with a desire to phase out of construction, and freely explore my creative side. This has brought me to the point of striving to express some of the things I know and love, through this unique art theme.
THE ARTISTIC PROCESS
The techniques used to create our pieces, are time consuming, but most all are very satisfying. We start by procuring old boards from surfing friends and acquaintances. This is great because it keeps these wonderful relics out of the landfill, which in turn, helps the environment. In this manner, a friend came up with the slogan “ re-surface to re-purpose”. I must admit, I like that! As many other surfers will attest, there is a bond between surfer and board. Sharing thrills and wipeouts, ocean communion and fellowship with like minded “board riders,” all combine to create that connection. In fact, when wave riding, one of the main goals is to stay “bonded” to your board. (Sorry, bad joke, but hey, I'm not a comedian!) In keeping with the island spirit, I am proud to say that all boards used in my pieces were raised on pure Kauaian juice! As such, they all deserve another life, and to be viewed for the works of art that they truly are.
As far as the work goes, these boards are cleaned up, patched, primed, and coated with a elastomeric sealer. They then go on to artistically recreating them into something else that preserves their spirit, but allows them to continue carrying that ocean spirit. We are currently creating exterior “shower “ surfboards, as well as interior “wall hangers" (usually out of the smaller “shortboards”), all fashioned with care from old boards that have been retired.
Next in the process, is where Jan shines. Jan is a talented artist, having worked in oil paints since her teen years. Her knowledge of composition, contrast, and the overall layout of our surfboard art have been invaluable. She's just brilliant. We work/play hard, and we do so very well together. She is always saying; “I’ll do the things that you aren’t crazy about." What a wonderful gift she is to me!
Personally, I do supply input on design, but my forte is in cutting, shaping, and setting the stained glass and mirrors which bring the design work to fruition. My construction background comes into play here because in addition to tile work, plumbing, and carpentry were a part of my area of skill. Finally, after the inner workings are complete, all pieces are “set “ with thin-set adhesive and then grouted so that they last, are durable, and are reborn just as awesome as they were when they rode the waves. You can see that spirit in every piece. We feel it in every part of the process that allows us to artistically bring what might have been landfill, back to life as something different but still preservative of the ocean, the thrill of waves, and the bond of the rider and the board.
Hence, our fondest hope for our art is that we are able to cultivate inspiration, awe, and excitement equal to that which inspired us to create. Likewise, I tell you that glass and mirror are great mediums! They sparkle and shine brilliantly, offering the viewer a different perspective from each angle. And through and through, reaching out from the core of this work, is that beauty and inspiration, which we feel is the essence of “Kauai”. We hope you'll agree! Thank you for reading about us.
Me ka aloha pumehana!
Steve & Jan
We would love to hear from you!
You may reach me by email at , or Jan at Janandjoy123@gmail.com. Thanks again!